Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

We hosted care group at our house last week, so I whipped up a batch of these Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies. They are so yum and super easy to make. The recipe is a Pinterest find from this blog. :) 

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies


6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix (18.25 ounce)
1 cup of white chocolate chips

1/2 cup powdered sugar 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place powdered sugar in a small shallow bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter, eggs and cake mix until there are no large lumps left. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon) and coat in powdered sugar. Place on cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops have slightly cracked and the tops look set (the centers will be a little gooey but soooo yummy). Let sit for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Serve immediately and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, if they last that long! ;)

Yield: 18 cookies

You can easily sub a different cake mix if you're not a fan of red velvet. A friend said she made lemon crinkle cookies by using a box of lemon cake mix and they were delicious. 

Hope you enjoy! :)



Saturday, August 17, 2013


My brain has been in over drive these past few weeks.
Lots of changes happening to our little family in the coming months. 
Exciting changes.
Some a little scary. (hi, homeschooling)
But for the most part, all good changes.

Here's a little glimpse into what I've been thinking about lately...

[Ryan's new job]
HUGE blessing for our family in so many ways. So thankful for God's provision and this new opportunity for Ry.

[Family pictures coming up]
Uh, I'd say we're a few years overdue. 
We talk about it every year and every year it never happens.
This is the year people. This is the year. 

Depending on the day I'm either super excited or super terrified.
I know God is going to use this experience (whether it's just this one year or we do it until graduation)
to stretch me.
 To strengthen my faith. 
To push me to rely fully on Him.

[Fall meals]
Big shocker here, right? ;)
I'm determined to use my crockpot a LOT more this season.
Lots of soups, hearty stews and casseroles.
And of course pumpkin flavored everything.

[Field trip ideas & family fun]
Pumpkin patch/hayride. Apple picking at Carter's Mountain. Museums (Air & Space, Spy, Children's)
Zoo. Football games and Chili with friends. Pumpking painting. Skyline drive & hiking.
Nature scavenger hunt. Picnics. Bake treats for friends & family. Operation Christmas Shoebox.

fall chalkboard

Ry watched the kids so I could get a mani/pedi. It was glorious.

Soaking up every last minute at the pool

This kid loves to build things.

Cheers to family ice cream dates.

A little summer work to keep their minds sharp ;)


All for now!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hurry Up, Fall!

I'm a colder weather kind of girl. I know I'm probably in the minority when it comes down to it but that's fine by me. Maybe it has to do with all the holidays and fun that go along with the cooler weather or maybe it's the fact that unless I'm burning a bajillion calories in spin class, I don't want to be sweating all the time, thankyouverymuch

Today is August 7 and do y'all know what that means? It means we're only 24 days away from pumpkins and fall decor!! Come September 1st, our casa is officially saying "Adios!" summer and "Helloooo, there!" fall ;)

Thanks to Pinterest, I've got some fun ideas of how I want to bring fall festiveness into our home. Here are some of my favorites so far:


I love them! They instantly make any room just a bit more festive! I love this simple, white pom pom garland from West Elm to hang across mantle for everyday. 

These fall inspired garlands are so creative! I think I'm going to have to give the pinecone one a try ;)



Nothing says "It's fall!" like pumpkins. There are so many fun ways to dress them up too! Glitter, lace, paint, carving etc... The options are endless!


There is just something about certain smells that bring back memories or get you excited for something. Fall inspired scents are the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.


Okay, so now are you ready for Fall? ;)

In the next few weeks I'm planning to post some of our family's favorite cold weather recipes. Hello crockpot, soups, chili and casseroles! 



[You can follow me on Pinterest >>  Laura Johnson]

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our Day in Pictures

Whew. It's been awhile! Instead of a boring you with lengthy recap, I thought I'd show you what a typical day looks like for us.

Something I just started recently, that we are all enjoying is reading the boys a few chapters from a book while they eat breakfast. Currently we are reading The Boxcar Children. I used to love these books as a kid and it's been so fun to re-read them with the boys.

 After breakfast, the older two boys head upstairs to play or work on some summer school work. Logan and I stay behind and I get a chance to drink my coffee and give him his breakfast. It's so nice to spend some one on one time with him.

During the summer, we try to do something fun outside of the house each day or so. Mostly it's just something simple like a trip to the library, the pool or a play date. Other times there's activities or events going on around town and we'll do that. The local movie theater has free kid movies every Tuesday morning, the bowling alley has unlimited $4 bowling for kids on Thursday mornings. The Visitors Center downtown has a great children's program on the Civil War each week and the boys have really enjoyed that. Carter has been very interested in history lately, so that's been a great way to have fun and feed his interest.

 Next up, lunchtime!

I would love to say lunchtime is followed by naps, but alas Logan is the only one in this house who still takes one. So we have "quiet time" where the boys are supposed to read quietly or rest in their beds. But let's be honest-that is a rarity. It usually just ends up being semi-quiet playtime in their room. And ya know what? As long as they stay in their rooms, it's fine by me. ;)

The rest of the afternoon is spent taking care of things around the house or errands and then getting dinner ready. Every other week or so, my parents will watch the kiddos so we can have date night!! Woo!

Bonefish. The the food lover of my soul & one of our fave date night spots.

So there ya have, a lil peek into a typical day during the summer. :) 



Monday, June 10, 2013

Strawberry Pickin'

On Thursday we went to Braehead Farms with my mom for some end of the season strawberry pickin'.

It ended up being the perfect day for it-- overcast and not too hot.
Testing out the goods.

Afterwards, Grammy treated us to lunch at Cracker Barrel. Yuuuum.
Intense game of checkers.


Birthday Shenanigans

Remember last week how I went on and on about how much I love my own birthday and basically consider it a national holiday, blah blah blah? Funny thing happened the day before. I woke up feeling like death. And it only got progressively worse throughout the day (crazy sore throat, chills, sweat, no energy). I spent the day in bed and the kids spent the day watching 8 million movies on Netflix & eating oreos. I was hoping it was just a 24 hour thing but alas it only got worse the next day (yup, my bday). My dear sweet mama called to see if we were still on for strawberry picking and lunch and when I told her I was feeling worse she offered to take the kids (all 3 of them) for the entire day. God bless her.

I can't remember the last time I spent an entire day by myself. Aside from the whole sick thing (it ended up being strep), it wasn't a bad way to spend a day, vegged out on the couch watching an entire season of FRIENDS. ;) Thanks again mom for watching the kiddos!!

Friday night, we went out for hibachi with a group of friends for my birthday. We enjoyed some amazing food and then came back to our casa for cake and games. I didn't get too many pictures and then ones I did came out kind of blurry. Boo.

Happy Birthday is the most awkward song ever. The End.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day Trip to Shenandoah

Birthday shenanigans got an early start yesterday when my good friend Em surprised me with a fun day hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains. I've been wanting to go fooorever and it just hasn't worked out yet. She knew this, so she planned with Ryan to take me after church and he graciously stayed back with the kiddos
(one of those being a teething baby. Thanks babe!).
 I don't know what it is about mountains but just being surrounded by them makes me feel closer to God. Seeing His amazing work displayed on such a majestic scale is breathtaking. Creation really does proclaim his name.

Psalm 19:1- "The heavens declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the work of His hands."

When we got to the top, a storm was rolling in across the valley. As a lover of storms it was so cool to watch it all happen from a mountain top. (Random fact: One of my dream jobs is to be a storm chaser. Yes, I'm serious. Maybe after the kids are graduated and out of the house? I could be the world's oldest storm chaser...)

Pictures really don't do these views justice.
Other than some chipmunks, a bunny and a little snake (which came with a mini heart from yours truly), this was the only bear we saw ;) Such a happy fella.
Thanks for an awesome day, Em!! :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hello, June

I love June. It's the start of summer, the pool opens up and it's my birthday month. If you know me then you most likely know I love holidays (yes, birthdays are holidays) and any excuse to make themed food and decorate, gets me all giddy inside. I'll admit it-  I am one of those narcissistic birthday people who forces everyone to celebrate me for as long as I can milk it. The enthusiasm usually dies out around day 3 for most people (read: my family), but I can usually get another day or so out of them with bribes of cupcakes for breakfast. I promise I'll only dedicate one post to b-day shenanigans so I don't lose friends over my obnoxious love of my own birthday.

Lurve this tassel cake topper from Anthro.
What are some birthday traditions in your family? I usually decorate the night before (streamer their bedroom door, balloons all over their room, decorate their chair at the kitchen table), funfetti pancakes for breakfast, fun activity of their choice and then cake and presents at night.

All for now! Have a great weekend!